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India's Non-GM Oil Meal Exports Skyrocket as Europe and Southeast Asia Drive Demand

The increased demand for India's non-GM oil meals, along with the advantageous pricing and favorable exchange rates, has positioned the country as a prominent exporter in the international market.

Shivam Dwivedi
India's Non-GM Oil Meal Exports Skyrocket as Europe and Southeast Asia Drive Demand (Photo Source: Pexels)
India's Non-GM Oil Meal Exports Skyrocket as Europe and Southeast Asia Drive Demand (Photo Source: Pexels)

India's non-genetically engineered oil meals have witnessed a surge in demand from European, Middle Eastern, and South-East Asian countries. The export of these oil meals experienced a remarkable increase of 72 percent in May 2023 compared to the same period last year.

The preference for India's non-genetically modified (non-GM) soybean meals, particularly by certain European countries and the United States, has contributed to this upward trend. In contrast to genetically modified (GM) soybean meals predominantly grown in Brazil, Argentina, and the USA, Indian soybean meals hold an advantage due to their non-GM status.

Western nations, where environmental awareness is high, are particularly inclined towards the non-GM attribute of Indian soybean meals. BV Mehta, the Executive Director of The Solvent Extractors' Association of India, affirmed this preference.

The primary importers of Indian oil meals in Western countries are the USA, followed by Canada, France, New Zealand, and other European nations. The export figures for May 2023 revealed a significant increase, with 4.36 lakh tonnes (LT) exported, compared to 2.54 LT in May 2022, marking a substantial 72 percent rise.

The overall export of oil meals from April to May 2023 amounted to 930,044 tons, in contrast to 586,415 tons during the same period last year. This surge in exports can be attributed to the notable increase in soybean and rapeseed meal exports. In fact, rapeseed meal exports have reached a record high since the commencement of exports.

Mehta expressed his satisfaction by stating that it was heartening to note that the export of rapeseed meal had set a new record, reaching 2.3 million tonnes in the current financial year (2022-23). He mentioned that this was the highest ever since exports began.

According to Manoj Shukla, an oilseeds commodity analyst based in Mumbai, South-East Asia benefits from India's logistical advantage and competitive pricing, making it a major consumer of Indian soybean meal. He further explained that the depreciation of the Indian rupee has contributed to increased overall exports. Shukla highlighted that the price of soybean has declined by approximately 36 percent since April 2022, making India's soybean more appealing.

From April 2022 to May 2023, the price of soybeans dropped from over Rs 7600 per quintal to Rs 4900 per quintal, thereby contributing to the revival of exports. Major importers of Indian oil meals include South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, and other countries in the Far East.

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